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How to remove wood stain from fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood stain is a coloured liquid that can be painted or rubbed on wood products to stain or colour them. Most wood stains are water- or oil-based. If wood stain is spilt on fabric, it needs to be cleaned and removed right away. If wood stain dries on the fabric, is it difficult, if not impossible, to remove. The best chance for removal is while the stain is still wet.

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Oil-based wood stain

  1. Dip a cloth in white spirits. Rub the mineral spirits into the stain. Let it sit on the fabric for one minute.

  2. Blot the stain and mineral spirits using a dry cloth. Repeat the process several times until the stain is removed.

  3. Launder the fabric following the fabric care instructions.

Water-based wood stain

  1. Dip a cotton ball in acetone nail polish remover. Rub the acetone-dipped cotton ball in an inconspicuous area on the fabric to make sure the acetone will not ruin the colour of the fabric.

  2. Rub the acetone-dipped cotton ball on the stain. Continue working into the fabric until the stain dissolves.

  3. Launder the fabric as normal.

  4. Warning

    When working with mineral spirits, wear gloves to prevent skin irritation.

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Things You'll Need

  • White spirits
  • Cloth
  • or
  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cotton ball

About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.

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